The Ten Best Natural Remedies for Insomnia


June 2, 2023 4 MIN READ

natural remedies

The Ten Best Natural Remedies for Insomnia

According to the Cleveland Clinic, a nonprofit medical center that focuses on both patient care and academic research and education, nearly 10% of humanity suffers from a form of insomnia. This medical condition can be acute or chronic, depending on how long the patient experiences the sleep disturbances that characterize insomnia disorder.

Acute insomnia is a short-term form of insomnia that occurs no more than three months. This type of insomnia is usually caused by an event that acts as a stressor and disturbs sleep. Chronic insomnia is a longer-term form of insomnia that occurs at least three nights a week for over three months. This type of insomnia usually has a deeper reason for existing and is much harder to solve. It is also the more dangerous form of insomnia, as chronic insomnia can lead to serious health issues like heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes.

Though medication can often help treat chronic insomnia, many people understandably wish to avoid using pills to achieve healthy amounts of sleep. It’s always better to try to find natural ways to get relief from your insomnia before resorting to medication. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the 10 best natural remedies that you should try for your insomnia:

  1. Setting a Routine:

Having a routine before bed can help program your mind so it knows when it’s time to start winding down. This includes going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day. It also includes performing consistent activities before bed, such as a warm bath or reading a chapter of a book. Training your body through routine can make it easier for you to fall asleep as well as improve your overall sleep quality.

  1. Creating a Healthy Sleep Environment:

Where you sleep is a key factor in the quality of your rest. You should create a sleep environment that is conducive to healthy sleep. This includes decorating your room using soft colors, keeping the temperature low, and ensuring your room is dark. Experts recommend cutting out as much blue light as possible from your sleeping environment. Avoid having a TV in your room and try not to use your tablet or smartphone before falling asleep.

  1. Cut Out Stimulants:

Considering the definition of a stimulant – something a person can ingest to increase their brain activity and gain energy – it makes sense that cutting out stimulants can help you achieve a better night’s sleep. The best way to do this is by cutting out all stimulants or at least only rarely indulging in them, but those who aren’t willing to take a dramatic step like that can just cut out stimulants within 3 hours of bedtime. Some stimulants include caffeinated beverages, chocolate, and nicotine.

  1. Smart Nutritional Choices:

Making smart choices about what you eat can positively impact your sleep quality, especially when looking at the food you eat close to bedtime. It’s important that you do not eat a heavy meal close to bedtime and that you avoid foods with caffeine or food with spicy or acidic notes. Some of the best foods to have as a small snack before bed are figs, pistachios, watermelon, and almonds. These foods aren’t just gentle on your stomach before bed, they also provide natural chemicals that increase muscle relaxation and promote sleep.

  1. Herbal remedies:

Perhaps the closest thing to medicine a person can use for insomnia is an herbal remedy. Herbs are natural drugs that can help your body do a variety of things, including falling and staying asleep more easily. Some of the most popular herbs for promoting good sleep are chamomile, valerian root, lavender, and peppermint. Many people enjoy these herbs in non-caffeinated tea or through supplements. You don’t always have to ingest herbs, however. Smelling them through essential oils can also trigger the mind to relax.

  1. Regular Exercise:

Having a regular exercise routine not only gives you a healthy body and mind, but it can also contribute to better sleep. Exercise can help regulate your body, reduce your stress, and keep you awake during the day. It also leads to your body being more tired at night as it needs to recover from the workout your muscles did. Studies have shown that people sleep better and longer if they exercise regularly. However, it’s important to note that the exercise should not be conducted within 3 hours of bedtime, as exercise can initially act as a stimulant.

  1. Mindful Meditation:

Mindful meditation is a combination of two practices for mental training. When combined, mindful meditation can help people learn to master their thoughts and be able to focus on the present to remain positive and calm. This type of meditation has been shown to improve a person’s quality of sleep and help people reduce or eliminate their insomnia. Mindful meditation is particularly helpful for those who struggle with anxiety over their insomnia. Since it works to help rewire the way the brain thinks, this type of meditation can reduce sleep anxiety, breaking the vicious cycle of insomnia and anxiety feeding off of each other.

  1. Acupuncture:

Acupuncture has been shown to positively affect the neurotransmitters in a person’s brain. Since neurotransmitters act as a messenger to the body, certain deliveries of acupuncture can switch these messages into ones that promote healthy sleep. There are three specific neurotransmitters that acupuncture targets in the brain. The first is norepinephrine, the neurotransmitter meant to keep a person awake and alert. Next is melatonin, which is meant to relax the body and mind in preparation for sleep. Third is gamma-aminobutyric acid, which contributes to the process of falling and remaining asleep.

  1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I):

CBT-I is a type of psychotherapy that involves a patient and a qualified therapist identifying negative thoughts and behaviors and working to change them in order to battle the patient’s insomnia. CBT-I has five core principles – sleep education, sleep restriction, stimulus control, cognitive restructuring, and sleep hygiene. Interestingly, a lot of the previously mentioned natural remedies are remedies that you might find yourself trying during your time in CBT-I. This treatment has been found to be particularly successful with individuals who suffer from chronic insomnia and is a treatment method that’s rapidly growing in popularity.

  1. Consult sleep experts (SSA)

If you find that you’ve tried all of these remedies and still haven’t found success, there’s one last thing to try before resorting to medication. Consulting sleep experts and going through sleep coaching can be an extremely effective way to win the battle against insomnia. At Sleep Science Academy, you can get a free consultation that will help you evaluate your issue and identify what you need so you can move toward a healthier (more rested) future.